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Update – 02.07.2020

RUSSIA

  • On Thursday, July 2nd, Russia recorded 6,760 new cases of coronavirus in 83 Russian regions, raising the official number of positive results to 661,165, with 9,683 dead. Most new COVID-19 cases (662) were registered in Moscow, raising the total number of Muscovites with confirmed COVID-19 to 222,871. In the meantime, a total number of 428,978 Russian patients are known to have recovered from coronavirus. Russia is still the 3rd most-affected country in the world in terms of confirmed cases, after the USA and Brazil.
  • On Tuesday, July 2nd, The Federal Air Transport Agency sent a telegram to airports and airlines, about the extension of the ban on entry of foreign citizens into Russia till 1st of August. This is not connected with restrictions on the outbound travel of Russian citizens from the country: since June, people with dual citizenship, a residence permit, and also for special categories of visas can leave the country for treatment and work. But for the rest of the Russian citizens, exit restrictions still apply.
  • Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin noted on July 1st: “A second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the capital is unlikely, there may be slight deviations, but without affecting the overall situation”. Earlier on Wednesday, the Coronavirus Operational Headquarters reported that over the past day in Moscow, 611 new cases of coronavirus infection have been recorded. This is the smallest number of detected cases of infection per day that has been recorded since April 6th, when 591 infected individuals were reported.
  • The Council of the European Union has recommended the gradual removal of restrictions on optional trips to the European Union, having agreed on a list of countries where borders can begin to open on July 1st. However, Russia is not on the list. The aforementioned list of countries where external borders can be opened from July 1st, will be reviewed every two weeks, and states can be added or removed, depending on the epidemiological situation
  • 45% of Russians had no or almost no savings at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report by the NAFI analytical center, following a June survey. Another 29% of respondents said they had some savings, but not enough to be self-isolated without a job. 26% of Russians indicated they have enough funds to survive self-isolation even in the case of loss of all sources of income. At the same time, 46% of all respondents said they faced financial difficulties.
  • The majority of Russian tourists have confirmed that their estimated comfortable budget for travel has decreased. According to the Biletix OTA survey, the share of travelers willing to spend more than 50’000 rubles (~750 USD) per family member decreased from 45% to 27% compared with the pre-Covid-19 period. The share of those who wish to spend less than 50,000 rubles (~750 USD) on travel increased from 55% to 73%. Russian travelers are mainly looking to save money on accommodation: 37% of Russian travelers are ready to sacrifice their comfort for the sake of savings. The share of those willing to save on a comfortable flight increased from 16% to 20%, while the share of those willing to make savings on cultural and entertainment programs increased from 12% to 22%. At the same time, the share of Russians who are not aiming to save on travel at all decreased from 16% to 7%.
  • The Russian business travel market is starting to recover. In June, the number of business travel bookings increased severalfold compared to May, although it is still far from pre-crisis levels. The increase in activity stems primarily from employees of industrial enterprises and retail companies, who, in addition to trips within Russia, are already beginning to plan their first international business trips.

KAZAKHSTANI, UKRAINIAN AND GEORGIAN MARKETS

Kazakhstan:

  • On Thursday, July 2nd, Kazakhstan recorded 1,509 new cases of coronavirus, raising the official number of positive cases to 42,574, with 188 dead. WHO has included Kazakhstan on the list of countries with accelerated spread of coronavirus. Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan and Armenia are also on the list.
  • As from July 5th, Kazakhstan will introduce a two-week quarantine. The authorities have taken these measures in light of the complicated epidemiological situation and the increase in cases of COVID-19. Restrictive measures will be imposed for 14 days, with the possibility of extension. They will affect service-providing businesses within the country. At least 80 percent of state employees, national companies and other offices will work remotely. Medical centres will be able to receive patients by appointment only. However, the government proposes the continuation of international air traffic to and from the country, without further expansion of the list of previously approved countries for the time-being. At the moment, Kazakhstan has announced a list of countries in green and yellow categories, to which, and from which, air travel is possible:
    • The countries in the 1st category additionally include Hungary, India, Germany, the Czech Republic and Malaysia. Previously, the 1st category list only included China, South Korea, Japan, Georgia and Thailand.
    • The updated list of countries in the 2nd category include: Egypt, Ukraine, Poland, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey.
    • All remaining countries are listed in the 3rd category, to which, and from which, flights are still prohibited.

Ukraine:

  • On Thursday, July 2nd, Ukraine recorded 889 new cases of coronavirus, raising the official number of positive results to 45,887, with 1185 dead.
  • The first foreign flights took off from Ukraine on July 1st. Turkey, Egypt, Albania, Croatia and Montenegro have opened their borders to Ukrainians. Seven charter flights to Turkey, Egypt (5 and 2 flights respectively) flew on July 1st from Boryspil airport. A few more charter flights were conducted from the regions. The four airlines which restarted flights include: Azur Air Ukraine, SkyUp, Ukraine International Airlines and Windrose. Destinations included: Antalya, Bodrum, Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh. On July 1st, Poland also resumed flights with Ukraine. Tour operator programs in Greece will be delayed until at least mid-July, in light of the latest EU decisions. Mouzenidis Travel has already announced that its Ellinair airline has cancelled all flights to Ukraine before July 15th.
  • On Thursday, July 2nd, cinemas resumed operations in Ukraine at a 50% capacity. They currently operate with some restrictions and with strict conditions: a mask must be worn in the corridors, although it is possible to take off the mask in the hall. The temperature of visitors and cinema employees must be taken, distance must be maintained, and regular disinfection must take place.
  • On Wednesday, July 1st, the mayor of Kiev, Vitaliy Klitschko, announced the limitation of working hours for catering establishments and entertainment venues as well as the time of mass, cultural, entertainment, sports and advertising events – until 22:00.

Georgia:

  • On Thursday, July 2nd, Georgia recorded 8 new cases of coronavirus, raising the official number of positive results to 939, with 15 dead.
  • On Thursday, July 2nd, the Georgian authorities decided to resume the program of returning their citizens to their homeland in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. As stipulated by Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia at a government meeting, several Georgian airlines should conduct special flights. Borders are still closed due to coronavirus and air traffic with all countries is halted. However, Georgian Airways, assisted by the government, has carried out special flights since the beginning of the pandemic to return Georgian citizens to their homeland.
  • On Thursday, June 25th, Georgia has extended restrictions on international regular air traffic until July 31st, 2020. On Saturday, June, 27th, Natia Turnava, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development noted: «Georgia has postponed the resumption of flights, as the country is not ready to simultaneously receive passengers from various countries».

Sources:

https://t.me/COVID2019_official

https://www.kommersant.ru

https://www.tourprom.ru

https://ria.ru

https://rg.ru

https://www.inform.kz

https://biz.liga.net

https://profi.travel

https://news.liga.net/kiev

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